Jan 16, 2008

William Walter Davis: In Memorium

As I type these words, I am about to pack up my notebook and move over a few blocks to the uneasy confines of a funeral home. An old family friend Bill Davis, has passed away and his service is today.

Bill attended my home church years ago and was a friend of our family for a long time. Bill was a career navy man and after his military service he worked aboard – if I remember correctly – The Queen Mary 2, for a number of years.

I have been asked to be a Pall Bearer in his service. He has a place reserved for him in the big Military Cemetery up in Chattanooga.

I don’t think Bill would want me to write a lengthy eulogy for him here; but I will say these few things, regardless.

It is always a privilege to see someone finish their race well. Bill never married, and he devoted himself to spending time with others and being a Godly influence in the lives of the young men around him. Bill sometimes had the gruff demeanor of a military man; but his heart was one that was always eager to remain in the service of the Lord, long after he retired from a life amid the waves.

I saw him and his sister at Long John Silvers a number of months ago, and I could tell that he was slipping away. I received a call from my little brother, daniel, that he was in the hospital and not doing well, and not expected to make what you might consider a full recovery. I have told myself that I would rather remember him as I knew him before he entered the hospital this last time; because I was caught amid the confluence of a number of things that I now know were probably not all that significant as going to see an old friend before he passed; but amid these tears – I know that I of all people, having worked in a hospital for 13 years, ought know that the grip we all have on life is always tenuous and never to be taken for granted. I had planned to see him yesterday. That previous morning, but before I had the chance – he received what could well be considered his ultimate healing, or more appropriate: his graduation. Bill moved on into Glory.

Bill, our friendship was something that I will always remember and hold dear. I did not really make an effort to tell you the difference that you made in my life before you left us.

I deeply and profoundly regret that.
I am so very sorry.

William Walter Davis, 72
In The Service of Christ,